The Appalachian Bear Rescue is now caring for 11 bears after taking in an orphaned cub from South Carolina.
The ABR rescued Jessamine Bear, named after South Carolina’s State Flower, the Yellow Jessamine, with the help of a few very generous volunteers.
Jessamine Bear was the sole survivor of a car crash that took the lives of her mothers and two siblings near Clemson in northwest South Carolina's Oconee County.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources called in the Appalachian Bear Rescue to help the cub, and with the help of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency -- the cub was transferred into their care and the ABR mobilized soon after.
Because of the distance, the ABR called in their friend and supporter Tom Sabo, a retired pilot who helped airlift two bears from Louisiana to Tennessee.
As soon as he heard about the cub, the ABR said he dropped everything to volunteer his services and plane, affectionately nicknamed 'Bear Force One.'
"Our deepest gratitude to Tom Sabo, Captain of “Bear Force One” and hero to three of our little bears. Thanks to him, an arduous seven-hour round trip by car was reduced to one hour of travel time," ABR said.
The ABR said Dr. Andrew Cushing with UT's College of Veterinary Medicine went with their curator Coy Blair to fly the cub to Gatlinburg and provide medical care along the way.
Cushing said the cub wasn't hurt, but had been traumatized by the wreck and her rescue. The cub was taken to ABR's nursery where shell be monitored and cared for around the clock.
The ABR said the cub is in relatively good condition and her mother had taken good care of her before the wreck, so they are hopeful she will make a fill recovery.
"We’re very sorry for the loss of her family and we’ll do our best for this cub. " ABR said.
If you'd like to learn more or donate to the ABR, check out their website here.